BJP blocking women's Bill, says CPI(M)

Staff Correspondent

TUMKUR: The Communist Party of India (Marxist) on Saturday blamed the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)-led National Democratic Alliance (NDA) for the delay in passing the Women's Reservation Bill in Parliament.

CPI(M) Secretary Syed Mujib told presspersons here that the A.B. Vajpayee Government avoided passing the Women's Reservation Bill, which envisages 33 per cent reservation in Parliament and the State Legislature, during six years of its tenure.

Changing tack

Mr. Mujib said for the last 18 months, the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance Government has been trying to forge consensus among all political parties and pass the Bill. But it is unfortunate that the BJP "is singing a different tune. BJP leaders have mooted the idea of leaving the discretion of accommodating women candidates to political parties. This is not practical," he said.

Mr. Mujib said women constitute a little more than half of Indian population. (He clarified that women form half of the electorate as many a women in rural parts may not have been enrolled in voters' lists because of lack of education and want of freedom at homes).

Equal share

"It is necessary that women are given equal share in governance, if we want to become a super economic power in the world," Mr. Mujib said.

He said Rastriya Janata Dal (RJD) and Samajwadi Party (SP) are demanding that there shall be internal classification in the reservation of seats for women in favour of those coming from backward classes, minorities, Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.

Protest planned

Mr. Mujib said the CPI (M) will organise "Satyagraha" in front of the offices of Deputy Commissioners in the district headquarters on Monday demanding that the Women's Reservation Bill be passed in the winter session of Parliament.

He said the Congress and the Left are keen on passing the Bill. He urged the BJP, the RJD, and the SP leaders to support the Congress and facilitate passing of the Bill in its original form.